The Victorian government’s proposal to accelerate much-needed investment in transmission will provide greater investment confidence for the clean energy sector, help improve reliability and drive down power prices, the Clean Energy Council said.

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton welcomed the announcement and hoped the Victorian government initiative would help to reverse the recent collapse in renewable energy investment.

“Our transmission network has simply not kept pace with the transition to a 21st century energy system and is causing major concerns for investors in clean energy,” Thornton said.

“Across Victoria there are existing renewable generators that are having their output constrained and renewable projects that are experiencing difficulties connecting to the grid due to system strength and congestion issues. This is not only inhibiting the state’s transition to a cleaner, more reliable and more affordable energy supply, but has also contributed to a significant slow-down in new clean energy investment.

“Over the last year we have seen a massive 50% decrease in large-scale renewable energy investment and we know that the lack of investment in transmission is the single biggest factor preventing the deployment of new generation projects. Today’s announcement is a welcome step towards unlocking this roadblock,” he said.

“We hope these reforms will help to encourage the new renewable energy investment needed to replace the state’s fleet of ageing coal-fired power stations, ensure the ongoing stability of our energy system and drive power prices down.”